It was a sluggish
start defensively for the Chesterton softball team, but the offense made
sure that wouldn’t determine the outcome.
The Class 4A
Sectional host Trojans piled up 17 hits and scored at least a run in every
inning in a 13-4 win over Valparaiso to clinch the school’s ninth sectional
title on Thursday. It is the first crown for Chesterton since 2012.
“I know for me,
it's a weight lifted," Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson said. “It kind of felt
like we were the favorite last year going into the sectional and we
stumbled, so it feels good to get the monkey off the back. We kept talking
to the girls all last week that the opponents in our sectional weren't the
ranked ones we had been playing and that we could win this.”
has piled up 23 runs and 29 hits in its past two games.
“We work so hard on
them just trying to be confident when they hit," Hopson said. "We’ve worked
so hard on that and just knowing what your job is and what you're looking to
scored the opening run of the game on a Maya Seifert double, Kari LaFreniere
responded in the bottom half of the frame with a triple off the right field
fence that scored Cassidy Grimm, who had singled.
3-for-4 and her two-out knock was the first of what turned out to be many
clutch base hits for the Trojans.
"I've been hitting
very solidly lately. I guess you could say I'm riding a little bit of a hot
streak," LaFreniere said. "This was a really big confidence boost because
since freshman year, we've always lost in the sectional. I'm proud how we
came through (Thursday). We really worked well as a team and it showed.”
eight runs all came with two outs.
contagious," Lexi Benko said. "We were all just so enthusiastic (Thursday)
and we found our groove. We've worked so hard this season and we definitely
"We just got on
rolls when we had two outs and we were going up there and swinging hard,”
Benko was 2-for-3
with a pair of RBIs and also picked up the win. The sophomore tossed four
innings and allowed one earned run on three hits in relief of starter Lauren
When Benko entered
in the fourth, she was welcomed by a Makayla Ferrari inside-the-park home
run that sent Trojans left fielder Maddy Hamady crashing into the fence. She
then responded by allowing only one hit in the next three innings.
“I thought I
recovered well and did my job. That’s all I wanted to do when I came in, do
my job,” Benko said.
three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and another three in the sixth on
a Hailey Johansen RBI single and Anderson’s first career varsity home run.
Anderson’s blast was of the two-run variety as she finished 3-of-4 with
pitcher Emily Glover) was throwing outside a lot, so I was ready for her to
go out there again," Anderson said of the home run. "It's awesome to win and
I'm very happy. It was a good game in all and everyone played very well. We
struggled a little bit in the beginning, but we powered through it.”
Shelby Grimm added
three RBIs and was 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot. Maddie Snemis was 2-for-3
from the No. 2 spot and Johansen was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Eight
Trojans recorded base hits.
Ferrari was 2-for-4
with two runs and an RBI to lead Valparaiso (13-10). Seifert also went
2-for-4 with an RBI and Paige Knight added an RBI single.
it today and not only did they tag it, they came up in key spots and
delivered,” Valpo coach Tracy Corneil said. “I'll give them credit because
they really did a great job in clutch situations and got hits when they
SCORING BY INNINGS
Valparaiso 101 110
0 -- 4 8 3
Chesterton 122 323
x -- 13 17 4
2B -- Lauren
Anderson, Lexi Benko (C); Maya Seifert, Emily Glover (V). 3B -- Kari
LaFreniere (C). HR --- Makayla Ferrari (V); Anderson (C). Pitching summary
-- Valparaiso -- Emily Glover (5 2/3 IP, 17 H, 13 R, 11 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO);
Emily Petro (1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO). Chesterton -- Anderson (3 IP, 5
H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO); Benko (4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO). WP -- Benko.
LP -- Glover.